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The National – High Violet
May 10, 2010

With 4 albums under their belts, The National is about to release their fifth studio album “High Violet”. On their previous albums they excelled in creative songwriting and well timed deliveries. The songs were strong to begin with and were performed excellently.

Especially the latest two albums were impressive. “Boxer” probably marked their real breakthrough yet “Alligator” may have been slightly stronger in my opinion. On this new album they stay in roughly the same area, musically. Some of the songs seem to have a tendency to sound more like the “Boxer” material, some to the “Alligator” material. The band has found a balance and as time goes by they ease into their comfort zone more and more.

“High Violet” is an album where the band seems to use all their qualities and creativity and they are able to translate that into the music well. With Terrible Love the album is off to a good start. Slow intensity build up going into a massive finale. But their real class shines through on songs like Little Faith, Afraid of Everyone and England. The band has impeccable timing and I think their melodic qualities are vastly underrated.

With “High Violet” The National delivers another very solid release with songs that have a lasting impression. The music might not be instant radio material but the great build ups, the intensity and the passionate performance of the songs makes for an album of the highest quality.

Check out their upcoming album as it is streaming on the NY Times website (click here).

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